School of Music
Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS)
Megachurches, Smaller Evangelical Churches, Worship Wars, Creative Worship, Intergenerational Worship
Christianity | Liturgy and Worship | Religion
Widger, Brenda L., "Not a Megachurch? Creative Methods Toward Intergenerational Worship within a Small Evangelical Church: A Case Study" (2020). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2369.
Larger churches have historically had the advantage in the realm of creative worship ministry due to larger budgets, more volunteers and dedicated professional staff. While megachurches have dominated the creative worship model, smaller evangelical churches have struggled to capture the essence of creativity in their services. There is a need to explore the obstacles faced by the smaller church along with methods that can be applied to overcome the challenges to offer effective worship experiences that include creative worship elements in a multigenerational model. In this qualitative historical case study, insight into the processes and resources necessary to move the smaller church from traditional or age-segregated services into one intergenerational worship gathering will be identified. As part of the study, historical and biblical research will be completed and applied in a real-time setting in Fairview United Methodist Church. To gain proper perspective in the specific issues that have been addressed, a brief history of the church will be shared, noting that both large and small churches have struggled with the same type of “worship wars” within their own congregations. Recent statistics suggest that smaller churches across the country are struggling to survive in this time of megachurch domination. The results of the research and application discussed in this study will be of benefit to any smaller church that is attempting to offer a single, intergenerational worship gathering as they partner creativity with established historical traditions.